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Enterovirus D68 confirmed in West Michigan

Posted at 6:21 PM, Sep 19, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-19 22:24:26-04

KENT COUNTY, Mich. -- One of the three confirmed cases of enterovirus D68 in Michigan is in Kent County, according to the Kent County Health Department. 

"We learned late today that there is one confirmed case of enterovirus D68 here in Kent County," said Lisa LaPlante. "We want people to know that there is at least one case, which probably means there are a lot more cases that we don't know about."

The Centers for Disease Control announced Friday the virus has been confirmed in Michigan.

Enterovirus D68 is a rare, highly contagious strain of the respiratory illness.  According to the CDC, symptoms include fever, runny nose, sneezing, coughing and body and muscle aches.

"This is a virus that is very fast moving,"LaPlante said. "A lot of people are getting it right now."

Many of those infected with enterovirus have asthma, a history of wheezing or another lung complication.

"The best thing people can do if they are feeling sick... (is) contact their health care provider," said LaPlante. "If you are  home and somebody else in the house has it, try to isolate them a little bit from everyone else."

Until Friday, the D68 strain had not been confirmed in Michigan but had already spread to at least 12 other states. 

According to the CDC, the best ways to avoid getting or spreading D68 are washing your hands often, covering your coughs and sneezes and disinfecting areas where somebody who has been sick may have been.

More tips here